Playing with fire

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  • Published 20150203
  • ISBN: 9781922182678
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

WE SIT IN the shade on the back veranda of Mardoo cattle station sipping hot, sweet tea from pannikins. Ringer’s young sons are dragging tree branches along behind them, pretending they are trucks and fuelling up at termite mounds the fine colour of rust. Smoke rises from mustering fires, flushing rouge bulls from the breakaway country on the station’s eastern boundary. ‘You nor’westerners are so blasé about fire. Maybe it’s all this space, the people–country ratio.’ I sweep my hand around a near 360-degree horizon, which, 130 million years ago, was a huge river delta, a dinosaur stompin’ ground. I say ‘you’ because, despite living here for well over a decade, I’m still not considered local.

‘Oh, you gotta watch ’em,’ Ringer rolls a cigarette.

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